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What Is a No-Monthly Fee Bank Account?

6 min read

no-monthly fee bank account

Written By

Courtney Johnston
Courtney Johnston

Financial institutions offer various bank accounts, including fee chequing accounts charging a monthly fee. Many prefer no fee chequing accounts, avoiding monthly charges. These bank accounts suit different needs: fee chequing accounts in Canada often include extra services, while no fee bank accounts offer basic features without charges. Banking fees vary among institutions, influencing individuals' choices when selecting a chequing account. Understanding the terms and benefits of each option helps in making informed decisions about things like monthly fee ters, monthly fees, and terms of other financial institutions.

No Monthly Account Fee Accounts in Canada

Having access to a bank account is non-negotiable for most Canadians. With everything trending digital — from our bills to the way we shop — it’s helpful to have access to your currency digitally, rather than carrying cash around. And consumers prefer paying for items and services with debit cards or cheques, according to a 2023 payment methods survey conducted by Statistics Canada. And as more businesses begin accepting debit cards over cash, more Candians who may remain unbanked will find themselves in need of a bank account.

While some bank accounts come with monthly fees and other expenses, there are many no-monthly fee bank accounts that can keep your money safe. Consumers seek convenience and affordability, prompting banks to provide diverse options, catering to varying financial preferences. Comparing the benefits against the costs aids in choosing the ideal bank account, whether it's a fee or no fee chequing account. Here's what you should know about getting a no fee bank account of your own.

What do Bank Accounts in Canada Offer?

A bank chequing account is the primary account most Candians hold. This serves as the central hub for your money, with your paychecks coming into this account, and bills, rent/mortgage payments, and other expenses coming out. You typically receive a chequebook and debit card that’s linked to your chequing account to make paying for purchases easier.

A savings account is an additional account that you can link to your bank account to house money earmarked for specific goals, like saving for a home down payment or family vacation. most of these are what is considered a fee bank account as there are additional fees and charges that come with the use of the account. These various account fees are common with standard bank account options.

Depending on the bank, you might have a branch in your area where you can receive in-person customer assistance. Most bank accounts also offer an online platform and mobile app where you can access your accounts. There may be a monthly fee associated with the use of online features or charges for access to banking account apps and tools.

Many of the most popular banks in Canada, including the big six banks, often charge monthly fees to maintain a chequing account. However, there are banks that offer account services free of charge and have specialized bank account options that save you from monthly fee and surcharges. These are known as a no fee chequing account in Canada.

What is a No Fee Bank Account?

A no-fee bank account is one that doesn’t charge the same number of fees as traditional Canadian banks. Many online banks are able to offer no- or lower-fee bank accounts, because they don’t have the same overhead costs as banks with physical locations. This allows them to pass some of these cost-savings down to customers in the form of no fees or better savings interest rates. Choosing a chequing account involves considering the benefits of no fee bank account options. Fee accounts come with charges, while no fee ones offer cost-free transactions and access to bank account services without additional expenses.

Most online banks in Canada have no monthly fees, no NSF fees, and may offer unlimited transactions so you don’t have to worry about transaction fees either. Depending on the bank, you might also save on ATM fees and receive overdraft coverage for free, or at a lower cost. Some examples of no monthly fee bank account providers include Tangerine and Alterna Bank, and KOHO secured accounts.

Benefits of No Fee Bank Accounts and Chequing Accounts.

A no fee account from Canadian financial institutions can offer you peace of mind. Not only are you not paying to store your money with a bank, but you’re also more likely to have access to better features and perks, like higher savings interest rates and more robust digital tools. A no fee and a high interest savings account can help you get the most out of your money.

Since you’re not paying a fee for your banking services, you can instead put the money you’re saving toward other financial goals. And with higher savings rates, that means you’ll earn even more interest on your deposits. You will save money with fewer banking fees and a higher interest bank account you will be able to keep more of your hard-earned money in your savings account where it can do the most good.

You also won’t have to worry about maintaining a set balance to avoid fees or pay a hefty charge if you accidentally overdraft on your account. A no fee bank account can offer you more freedom and flexability, so you can focus on your finances without juggling multiple bank fees. No fee accounts provide benefits other chequing account options are not able to, which is what makes them so popular.

Additionally, some online bank accounts even offer interest-earning checking accounts with no fees. So not only are you saving on monthly bank fees, but you’ll actually make money on your balance. You will save more money by paying less with monthly fee bank accounts in Canada.

Common bank account fees

Fee chequing accounts often incur monthly charges, while no fee accounts waive these costs. The distinction between fee and no fee Canadian bank accounts shapes one's banking experience, impacting financial decisions. Understanding these differences aids in selecting the most suitable account, aligning with individual preferences and requirements.

One reason why some Canadians may be reluctant to open a bank account with a standard chequing account is because of the high fees, particularly those associated with a basic bank account. Many of the most popular banks charge a few different fees to help maintain your account. Some common fees include:

Monthly fees

Costs can range from around $4 to over $30, depending on the bank and the account type. Some banks let you waive this fee if you meet certain requirements, like maintaining a specific balance or receiving a certain amount in direct deposits each month.

Note: Watch out for banks that advertise no monthly fee, but charge you a minimum balance fee if you don’t maintain a set balance.

Statement fees

If you still receive physical bank statements by mail, your bank might charge you this monthly fee. It’s typically only a few dollars, but it can add up throughout the years and can be influenced by other points such as bill payments and minimum balance requirements.

Transaction fees

Banks may allow you to make a certain number of transactions per month for free. If you go over this number, they may charge a transaction fee. This varies by bank and account type and there are some transaction fees that can be tied to account holders and pay bills and terms.

ATM fees

If you need access to cash from your bank account and you don’t use your bank’s ATM, you might be hit with a total ATM fee of between $1 to $9. These can also influence monthly account fee terms on your savings account and chequing account.

NSF fees

You might face a non-sufficient funds (NSF) fee if you try to use your debit card or write a cheque and you don’t have enough money in your account to cover the balance. If the bank doesn’t cover the charge for you, and it’s declined, you might be charged an NSF fee. Most NSF fees run between $40 and $50 per transaction.

Overdraft fees

Similar to NSF fees, if you don’t have enough money in your account when you make a purchase, if the bank covers the charge, you may face an overdraft fee. Not only will you need to replace the amount the bank covered, but you may also have to pay an overdraft fee, and interest on the amount that was loaned to you. Some banks offer overdraft protection to avoid the above at a lower fee.

KOHO Virtual Free Accounts and Secure Line of Credit

If no-fee banking sounds good, you might also enjoy KOHO’s no fee virtual card. It offers some of the advantages of a credit card without worrying about interest or debt accruing. This subscription it's on us and comes with virtual card access with virtual card access, the ability to earn 1% back on groceries and transportation, 3% in interest earnings, and no monthly fees. You also won’t have any minimum account requirements or NSF fees.

Free chequing and standard bank accounts open a world of financial opportunity and freedom for you to enjoy. And, if you want to add a credit-building feature to this account, you can for $10 a month, much lower than most major bank fees. If you have been thinking about looking at getting a no fee bank account then KOHO has options that can meet your needs and goals.

You can get started with a KOHO virtual card at

Note: KOHO product information and/or features may have been updated since this blog post was published. Please refer to our KOHO Plans page for our most up to date account information!

Courtney Johnston

Courtney is a professional writer, editor and financial literacy enthusiast. You can find her writing on CNET, Investopedia, The Motley Fool, Yahoo Finance, MSN and The Balance. She spends her free time exploring different cities across the globe or enjoy some downtime with her two cats and one dog.



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